Marvel’s 70th Anniversary celebrated nationwide

Marvel becomes a septuagenarian today, and several bookstores and comics shops nationwide are presenting special guests and signings. Check out Marvel’s website for more info, and click on the jump for store locations:

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Marvel Comics will commemorate the milestone event on Tuesday, August 11th with special anniversary parties taking place around the world! Over 500 comic shop retailers will be hosting parties to celebrate the comic book giant’s 70 year history from 1939 to today.  These events will be offering: early on sale release of The Marvels Project #1, an all new series detailing the origins of super heroes in the Marvel Universe by the creative team behind the worldwide sensation The Death Of Captain America; exclusive limited edition variants, a remastered version of the very first comic Marvel published, Marvel Comics #1, special sales, and more.   To download a full list of retailers participating in Marvel 70th Anniversary parties, visit!  All retailer parties begin at 9pm local time.
In addition, at 7:00 PM local time, Barnes & Noble will be hosting five in-store events in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Portland and Seattle, with appearances by some of the biggest names in the comic book world, hosting Q&A sessions and a chance to get your favorite comics autographed.  Also appearing at these events are some of the most beloved characters from the Marvel Universe.


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Action as you’ve never seen it before

We missed 1979 Semi Finalists’s list of the 100 Best Comic Book Covers … it’s a highly subjective list — big on Jaime Hernandez, James Jean, Adam Hughes and 80s X-men. But glancing at it is surely enough to rekindle some thoughts about the greatness and variety of comics, and their indelible imagery. Actually the most startling thing about the list was the above…the cover of ACTION COMICS #2 by Leo E. O’Mealia.

Seriously in all our years of comics research, we never even THOUGHT about the cover to ACTION #2, let alone that it might be so cool.

Bonus #1: After Ellen singles out some of the Top 100 covers that feature women.

Bonus #2: the cover to Action #3 also by O’Mealia! It is such a shock to see that famous logo without Superman underneath it. Also how sophisticated the cover design is — without Shuster’s simple drawing, it really pops.

Imagine if THIS is what had kick started the American comics industry. What a world we would live in.


Redherring 01Preview-1
Wildstorm’s The Bleed blog reminds us that RED HERRING by David Tischman, Philip Bond and David Hahn will be out this weekend. Seriously, it has been a while since a new comics by Philip Bond has passed through our hands and it is a cause for rejoicing. A new Philip Bond comic means there will be cute girls, and they will be wearing boots, and short skirts and smart underwear and remain cute while doing so.

And that’s a good thing.


Johnny Recon No 01 By Popgunpulp
We know nothing about the comic JOHNNY RECON by writer Scott Dillon and artist Mitch Gerads, but the cover is kinda cool — Gerads has a background in package design and it shows. More at the POPGUNPULP COMICS! site.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits, 8/11/09

§ Marc-Oliver Frisch has some thoughts on The Amazon Best-Seller List.

§ Graeme McMillan has some thoughts on WEDNESDAY COMICS.

§ Dan Nadel has some thoughts on THE HUNTER by Darwyn Cooke.. As many have noted, it’s by far the most negative review of a book that has sold well — it’s going into a second printing — and received glowing reviews elsewhere. We’re quoting the end of the review even though that isn’t really kosher:

I read The Hunter within a few weeks of reading Melvin Monster by John Stanley. Granted, this is a very odd comparison, but stay with me. The material in Melvin Monster was drawn around the same time as The Hunter was written, and Stanley’s verve and control are not unlike Stark’s. Stanley’s storytelling is clear but never didactic, his drawing has a palpable flourish to it, and his stories are consistently funny and surprising. What more do you want from a comic that has to play within certain genre rules? On a formal level seems to have done everything Cooke is trying to do, and with a light touch, too. Cooke wants to make classic, mid-century comics, but seems too rooted in the trappings of storyboards and animation short-hand to allow himself to pare down, simplify, and let the story tell itself.

To be fair, pretty much EVERYONE comes up short against Stanley in marrying economy and subtlety. While we may disagree with some of Nadel’s analysis, this is a real example of why most comics/graphic novels “reviews” are far, far removed from criticism at any practical level. The piece should be read by anyone who feigns to write reviews. Cooke is, by almost every definition, a top-level artist and storyteller, but looking at his work with more context and subtext serves a very important function.

§ Douglas Wolk is now handicapping the week’s comics at Comics Alliance, automatically making it one of the weekly comics previews you MUST read.

§ Frenchman Louis Leterrier, who directed the last HULK movie, explains why Captain America is not for him, even though he’d love to make an Avengers movie:

GB: Well do a bit of daydreaming; which characters would appeal to you most?

LL: Well frankly I’d love to do the Avengers. But there are so many great ones in the Marvel world. I would have loved to have done “Iron Man,” that is an amazing character. And it’s all because of Kevin – finding Jon [Favreau, the director] to do that movie, there were people that were surprised. They asked, “Why Jon?” And look at the result. I talked to Marvel about “Thor” at one point but I didn’t want to do Thor. It wasn’t something I read growing up, really, it wasn’t one of the books I loved. Now the new stuff, the [J. Michael] Straczynski stuff, that is great. But before you get to that you have to go back to the old stuff, the genesis and that’s not what I wanted to do. Captain America I love and that would be great but, c’mon, a Frenchman doing Captain America? They would burn my passport.

§ Is Hal Jordan confused about his feelings for Bruce Wayne? Signs point to yes.

§ Guess who this article is about! Ont.-raised comic-book creator on the verge of Hollywood stardom

§ J. Caleb Mozzocco goes through one of the worst things a comics lover can go through. Send him some good thoughts!

The defense of Rob Liefeld — UPDATED

Img 6988A fan in a yellow hat went to Chicago Comic-Con, saw Rob Liefeld — who has certainly had his ups and downs in the comics industry but still goes out to shows and takes his lumps like a grown-up — and showed Liefeld who’s boss by slipping him a copy of How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way with a snotty note inside. And then took a surreptitious video of it. And wrote a triumphant blog post about it. We decline to link to the post in question because all this guy was after was attention and he’s certainly got it, as a 300+ post reply thread has emerged with various comics professionals — from Ethan van Sciver to Sarah Oleksyk — telling Yellow Hat how petty and immature he was being. Here’s a representative response from Tony Shasteen:

Seriously dude, whether you like him or not, Rob is know as an industry professional that made a truck load of money in the heyday of Image. You’re known, and soon to be forgotten, as the guy in the ridiculous yellow hat that acts like a twat. Bravo…

Seriously dude, if you behave like such a douche that you are getting the comics industry to rally behind Rob Liefeld you’ve really behaved like a douche.
Or, in the words of Cameron Stewart:

So you don’t like Rob Liefeld, big deal. His work isn’t to my tastes either but I would never dream of trying to publicly humiliate him in person. He’s taken the time and expense to come to that show to ply his trade – just as you work at your job – and interact with the people who DO appreciate his work and presence. He’s not there for you to be snide and condescending and to be the recipient of your asinine, half-witted pranks.

Actually, Dustin Harbin had the best suggestion:

Guys, let’s increase the peace. A SUGGESTION:

Those people who agree with Yellow Hat Guy should signify so by wearing yellow hats at comic book events. Also trenchcoats–those are always in style, year-round. People LOVE TRENCHCOATS.

Those who disagree with Yellow Hat Guy should walk up to people with yellow hats, hand them a bag with a surprise in it (a turd? you decide!) and a note which asks for an apology for the yellow-hat wearer’s douchery. Origin of the douchery not important–the recipient likely is inhuman and lacks feelings, so it doesn’t matter at all whether it makes sense or hurts them in any way. They almost certainly love being publicly insulted by people, like most of us do.

Then film (or have a friend film, that’s okay too, still ballsy) the whole thing from between some other con-goers’ shoulders. Like a stud.

UPDATE 2 pm EDT: Well, this has really taken on a life of its own — check out the Twitter hashtag #douchebaginayellowhat. The term “yellow hat,’ as yuo can read in The Beat’s comments, is now a code word for a kind of obnoxious fan.

Also every blog out there has lit up with comments on it. Our favorite, however is this from Jordyn Marcellus, who analyzes the incident in terms of the work of Prof. Henry Jenkins, who has made extensive study of the psychology of fandom:

In Poachers, Jenkins refers to a paper by John Tulloch about Dr. Who fans. In short, he argues these fans (and what I want to generalize to all “fans”) is that they are a “powerless elite” who find themselves with an inability to affect their decisions on the production of their fannish interest, despite their relative mastery over it. Jenkins says this kind of knowledge is comparable to, or better than, an academic’s knowledge of their particular academic area of interest.  (In short: a Harry Potter obsessive may know more relative knowledge and are better able to analyze the subject of Harry Potter than an academic who studies pornography or film. I’m not sure if I agree with that, but I want to continue with it because it’ll be important quickly).

It’s this sense of elitism that has led some (not many) fans to condone the Yellow Hat actions.

Dog days again

In case you haven’t noticed…nothing is going on. Everyone is taking a break. In fact, we’ll be taking a break later this week. Details to come. In the meantime, we’re slowing down, breathing, and taking the time to just look around and link to a bit more art than usual. No one is in a hurry and there’s a lot to see, so enjoy.